Discover the team behind Akbank’s VR employee orientation tool

The Turkish bank has introduced an impressive new virtual reality experience that introduces new employees to the bank.

Discover the team behind Akbank’s VR employee orientation tool

When onboarding employees, companies seek to introduce new hires to executives and expose them to as many areas of the company as possible. Doing this helps provide a warm welcome and promotes cohesion: here are the teams, locations, and people that make us go. But at an organization as large as Akbank, a meaningful orientation process as described above can be difficult and costly.

So, the bank found an innovative solution. They developed a virtual reality application in 2019 that provides warm welcoming messages from their CEO and People & Culture EVP. Along with the messages, there is a wide range of interactive navigation opportunities and information about headquarters, branches, IT departments, social areas and data centers. The application can be used on any Android/IOS-based mobile device to provide a view into all areas of the bank. The result is a sped-up orientation process that creates a sense of belonging in the memory of employees as well as strengthening a digital corporate culture (See the full case study on the Efma innovation portal).

As with any successful product launch, there was an exceptional team that brought it to life. Let’s take a look at the team who developed this impressive new application that is providing a warm and virtual welcome to Akbank employees:

Selda Özçalık              

Selda is the head of Akbank Academy. She has been working in the banking sector for over 20 years which has granted her expertise on different aspects of the sector. She is also leading the bank’s youth team that aims to create positive relationships with young people. She is excited about working on the future of work and helping people improve their skills. 

Because new technologies arrive disruptively, adapting to the new became mandatory. In Akbank, there are over 12,000 employees, some of which are tech savvy while others are not. For Selda, leading the cultural transformation due to technological developments is the main challenge.

Ömer Faruk Irmak

Ömer works as Learning Technologies R&D Executive at the bank. He has over 15 years of educational technologies experience. He also has deep knowledge about project management, business analysis, gamification, and software development life cycle.              

The most challenging part for Ömer was meeting internal needs with truly sustainable and useful educational technologies. Applying new and expensive technologies such as VR in the most effective and sustainable way requires a lot of research and the use of an appropriate model. When you try to present this through mobile channels, application and content optimization gains serious importance. This was overcome with a correct and balanced research approach.

Öner Bilgin     

He is an educational technology enthusiast who believes that the utilization of technology in education will create great value for organizations and institutions such as K12, universities, companies, etc. He has developed many coursewares and managed the teams developing those coursewares. He has participated in many projects for designing groundbreaking products in the sector. He is using his experience from his previous projects that will support 360 degree learning in Akbank that is open to change in L&D.    

For Öner, the biggest challenge was the instructional design of VR content that can be taken from more than one environment such as VR Devices or Mobile Phones. A lot of 360 degree videos and pictures of places in many different locations had to be optimized and organized to use less bandwidth.

Fulya Karacaoğlu

Fulya is Employer Branding Assistant Manager at Akbank since 2018. In her role, she is responsible for the internal and extarnal brand management of HR. Event organization, preparing communication content, and social media management are among her daily tasks.

The main challenge for Fulya was to create clear content for the VR user to understand every aspect of different locations in the bank. Also, communication steps to make employees to use VR orientation effectively was another challenge, because without influential communication, it can be tough to change peoples’ habits.

Mustafa Şamil Sezer           

He is responsible for finding and managing corporate mobile solutions. With 15+ years of experience in the IT sector, he has a strong knowledge of how technology affects people and how technology is supposed to respond. He is an Agile ambassador and a big fan of the Design Thinking approach.           

The main challenge for Mustafa was aligning new technologies such as VR with a structured banking environment. Sometimes new technologies cannot be implemented easily, that’s where people with his experience are needed to find a proper solution and bring together the old and new models.


Augmented reality Workforce management